Born on Feb. 11, 1936 in Waycross, Ga., Reynolds grew up in Palm Beach County, Florida, playing football in high school and at Tallahassee’s Florida State University before an injury derailed his athletic prospects. While at Palm Beach Junior College, Reynolds appeared in a stage production that would serve as gateway to an acting career for the books, as he parlayed Broadway and TV roles into a filmography that includes such beloved films as Deliverance(1972), The Longest Yard (1974), Smokey and the Bandit (1977), The Cannonball Run (1981), Striptease (1996) and Boogie Nights (1997), the last of which earned him an Oscar nomination.
From 1978 through 1982, Reynold’s was Hollywood’s top-grossing star each and every year. He made his directorial debut around that same period, helming and starring in Gator in 1976, a film to which FX’s Archer paid tribute in a memorable 2012 episode featuring Reynolds as himself. Just this past May, Reynolds had joined the cast of Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, set for a July 26, 2019, release. He also recently starred in Stephen Wallis’ Defining Moments, due in theaters this Christmas.
Reynolds underwent heart surgery in 2010 and his death Thursday came after he went into cardiac arrest, per Us. The actor is survived by his adopted son, Quinton.